Recent research documents an increase in narcissism in the United States. Little research, however, has explored mechanisms that could cause higher narcissism. In 2 studies, we test the hypothesis that exposure to narcissistic reality TV characters is related to greater narcissism for those engaging in experience taking (Kaufman & Libby, 2012). Study 1 is a correlational study showing that greater exposure to narcissistic reality TV while engaged in experience taking is related to higher levels of narcissism. Study 2 is an experimental study showing that participants randomly assigned to watch a narcissistic reality TV show, under conditions that encouraged experience taking, were more narcissistic. These results suggest that media can shape trait narcissism levels that are generally assumed to be stable.
- Experience taking
- Reality TV